Close talkers

One of the Super Bowl commercials that continues to be aired is a toothpaste commercial starring Luke Wilson. In his role, he is a self-professed and proud “close talker.” This is someone who violates another’s personal space, speaking only a few inches from the person’s face.

This commercial is a little unnerving, primarily due to my history of working with a close talker. My colleague was an otherwise pleasant and charming person, but this habit was not his best attribute. Plus, he was in senior management.

My boss would do his best to have some form of interference in-between him and our close talker. He would use a desk, a table, a couch, et al, anything to provide distance. I followed his advice as well, but it was not fool-proof. Elevators were risky with our close talker.

There was an instance when our close talker cornered the company CEO in an elevator. He got the full force of close talking and left the elevator shaking his head.

I recognize cultures vary. I also recognize the US culture is more informal than many. Yet, invading personal space is still a no-no when talking. It would have been so very helpful if the CEO called him aside in private and shared a few tips. In our case, we just need more tables.


12 thoughts on “Close talkers

      • Hugh, just a few minutes ago, they ran the commercial again. The argument at the end is you can never get to close, with the other person saying yes, you can.

        I keep thinking of more formal cultures where how you present yourself is very important. Business cards are treated as a very important and should be reviewed when received with an intelligent question or acknowledgment. They would not take to kindly to a close talker. Keith

  1. Dear Keith,

    I’ve never had to deal with a close talker. If such a person was my boss, I don’t know what I would’ve done, except avoid him like the plague. If he were not my boss, I would have kindly (probably not so kindly) have advised this person to back off or else.

    Hugs, Gronda

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